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BUDAPEST, VIENNA AND PRAGUE BY MOTORHOME

By autocaravaning.eu
Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria) and Prague (Czech Republic)

An unforgettable route, it can be completed in 10 days, plus the time needed for the round trip, calculating an average 3 days to visit each city.


This is an extraordinary journey by three Central European cities, three universal towns that shaped the most important aspects of European history, worth visiting for its significant architectural richness and their popular culture.
 Danube river, Budapest. Photo: autocaravaning.eu

HUNGARY
It is compulsory to make a toll payment (vignette) to drive on motorways, public roads and some segments of Hungarian highways. You can buy it just before crossing the frontier or, as you enter Hungary, in the first petrol station or at places indicating “Vignette”.
Alternatively, you may purchase the e-vignette (since 2008 Hungary decided to remove the physical vignette) which may be bought online, before you arrive. Price for 4 days is 1650 HUF (Hungarian Florins), vehicles up to 3,5 ton, around € 6 – prices 2011

The Trip
Since I was coming from Slovenia, the visit was planned from Budapest; however, in my way to Budapest I could not ignore Lake Balaton as the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, 79 km long by 14 km wide. It is often affectionately called the “Hungarian Sea”.

Lake of Héviz is also situated just at 6 kilometres away from Lake Balaton, Europe’s largest thermal lake, around the edge there is soft, slightly radioactive mud that is used in the treatment of joint diseases and nervous disorders. 
Héviz Lake, Hungary

BUDAPEST
St Matthias Church, Budapest
The city of Budapest is the result of unification in 1873, occupying both sides of the Danube River, the cities of Buda and on the right bank with Pest on left bank.
Buda and in Budapest itself was the Royal Hungarian headquarters in various occupations during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Modern and contemporary times until 1944 when the monarchy disappeared in Hungary. The metropolitan Budapest area has over 2.3 million inhabitants. It is a very interesting city, spacious and comfortable with a beautiful architectural variation.
The food is quite affordable with a good range of restaurants at reasonable prices. Do not forget to try the “Goulash” is a national cuisine dish, Hungarian salami or, as a sweet, “Dobostorta” is a mocha and caramel cake; it is also worth trying the Tokay wine (in Hungarian, Tokaji), it was a well known wine by European royalties in the eighteenth century.

Campsite address:
CAMPING HALLER
HALLER UTCA (Utca, street in Hungarian) 27, BUDAPEST 1096, Hungary
Tel.: +36 1 476-3418 – Mobile: +36 20 367-4274
GPS:          N 47º 28,55' -- E 19º 04,975'
Decimal: N 47.475833 -- E 19.082916
The campsite is good value for money, it has all essential services. Is well connected to the city by underground (metro) and bus, at 500 meters, approx, from the campsite

Price: 3600 HUF – € 20, per day, approx., according to the actual rates of exchange.
Includes 2 people + motorhome, shower with hot water, washing machine (including soap), electric hook-up and free WI-FI.
If you stay 3 days you get a 4th day free of charge.
280 HUF (Hungarian Florins) = 1 Euro

AUSTRIA
You must get the vignette if you are driving in Austria (it has to be displayed on your windscreen). It can be purchased before crossing the border or at the first service area in Austria. Price: € 7,90 - minimum 10 days.

VIENNA


There is good reason why Vienna is called the heart of Europe; is a distinguished city for its excellence and animation; the Opera House and the Friends of Music (Musikverein); the traditional setting of the New Year’s concert that airs on TV in many countries of the World are only some of the main attractions. 

Vienna has a privileged location between the Danube and the rolling foothills of the Alps, at the crossroads of routes from west to east.
The Hofburg, the Imperial Palace, is another spectacular view; it was built as a single castle, over the time evolved to become a palace, combining more than ten buildings surrounded by well looked after parks.
House of Friends of Music, Vienna
You will also find a cuisine variety, of course is the ideal place to have “Wiener Schnitzel” (thin breaded steak season with spices and lemon; a nice selection of Viennese pastries and crepes filled with fresh fruit and whipped cream. You may pay a visit to the Cafe Central, one of the oldest cafes in Vienna (its origin dates from 1685), a real luxury; this is just one of the good times that can be spent in Vienna, the Imperial City.
Campsite address:
Am Kleehäufel 1220 Wien
Tel.:  +43 (1) 202 4010      
Fax:
  +43 (1) 202 4020 
Camping Neue Donau, well connected by underground and bus to Vienna centre, 500 meters from the campsite, approx distance.  
e-mail:
 
neuedonau@campingwien.at 
See tariffs on the following link: tariffs.campsite
GPS: N 48º 12’ 33.25’’  --  E 16º 26’ 40.08’'
Open from April to September

CZECH REPUBLIC
As in Austria, to drive in the Czech Republic, is necessary to get the “Vignette”, you can purchase it for a minimum of one week. Price: 250 CZK (Czech crowns), around € 10.00. As an example, 1 Euro is equal 24,4 CZK, at the current Exchange rate.

PRAGUE
Charles Bridge, Prague

Prague is a well preserved splendid city with magnificent architecture and a large number traditional buildings, labyrinthine streets and landmarks such as the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Prague Castle, etc.
Prague is the “City of a Hundred Spires”. The large number of towers and lookouts gave Prague the nickname “City of a Hundred Spires” for several centuries. Today the number it reaches around 500. The Moldovan (Vltava in Hungarian) River runs across the city and is one of the greatest attractions.
Prague is World Heritage Site since 1992 and is one the most visited 20 cities in the world.
Astronomical Clock (year 1410), 3rd oldest in the world and the only one still working, Prague

Czech cuisine is particularly abundant and varied. German and Austrian influences leave much room for the meat, while Central Europe spices invite you to discover new culinary horizons.
Prague Ham (prazská sunka), is a variety of ham stuffed with whipped cream, is worth to try it. Another popular dish is cheese covered with breadcrumbs (Smazeny) and deep fried, served with chips and tartar sauce.
 Wedge of bread-crumbed cheese and chips
Campsite Address:
Sunny Camp
Smichovska 1989, 155 00, Praga 5 –Stodulky, República Checa
Tel/fax: +420 251 625 774
Mobile: +420 603 774 374
Underground (metro) and bus nearby
GPS: N 50º 02’ 23’’  --  E 14º 19’ 46’’
See tariffs on the following link: tariffs.campsite

NB:
The selected campsites are suggestions from the writer of this article. He himself was in the mentioned campsites; besides, they are very handy for being nearest to visited cities.

HUNGARY
People over 65 years old can travel free of charge on public transport in the metropolitan area of Budapest. All you need to do, when you are going to travel, is to present your passport or National ID card; in this case, your passport is like your ticket.

Czech Republic
People over 60 years old can get discounts on tickets when travelling in Prague's public transport. To benefit, you have to present your passport or National ID card at the ticket office.

Please, note that prices for toll, “Vignette”, in Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic correspond to the year 2011.

Bon Voyage!